“I find it reprehensible:” More than 80 Milwaukee Public Schools rally to stop takeovers

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MILWAUKEE -- Rallies were held Friday, September 18th at more than 80 Milwaukee Public Schools. Teachers, parents and legislators oppose a law passed in this year's state budget that converts struggling schools into charter or private schools. The question is, can anything be done to reverse it?

MPS

MPS

That state grades 55 Milwaukee Public Schools as failing to meet expectations, where students are performing at less than 15% efficiency.

Under the Opportunity Schools Partnership Program(OSPP), County Executive Chris Abele will appoint a commissioner who would operate independently from the school board to assume control of up to five schools in the first year, and directly manage them or solicit offers from charter or private school operators.

"This is not a responsibility the County Executive asked for, however, he will make every effort to make sure it is a success," said Director of Administrate Services for Milwaukee County,Teig Whaley-Smith.

At Friday's Milwaukee County Board Committee meeting there was a 4-1 vote for a resolution opposing the OSPP. Concern over an elected official selecting a school commissioner and paying the commissioner's salary.

"I don't understand how we got here," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo.

But the law already passed.

"I know there is a lot of folks here to express their displeasure with this state action, but there is nothing we can do to undo it," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Anthony Staskunas.

MPS

MPS

"As soon as the schools are named, we will collapse all of our efforts around those schools, it will be quite a fight," said MTEA President Kim Schroeder.

Senator Alberta Darling's released the following statement:

“I find it reprehensible that the county board and the teachers union would rather trap children in schools where zero kids are proficient at reading.  Zero. "

"While the county board and MTEA waste time and energy with useless resolutions and pay raises, we have enacted reforms that will improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for kids stuck in failing MPS schools.  These reforms have worked in places like Memphis and New Orleans and it’s time to let them work here in Milwaukee.  For the sake of the children, I hope the unions and county board come to their senses and finally put children first.”

County Executive Chris Abele is required to appoint the commissioner by mid-November.

5 comments

  • hunter

    why have kids protesting? they have no idea why they are there, the teachers have to do their job or be replaced like it is in the real world! instead of picketing get in the classroom

  • pete

    Using the kids to protest just proves that an overhaul is necessary. Its clear that it is “all about the teachers” and not about the kids which is exactly why this action needs to happen..

  • Nicole

    If you have children at any of the 80 MPS schools where these walk ins tookplace, please call your school to make a formal complaint. Gathering individuals via open inviinvitation on social media sites, then encouraging them to walk into a schools where children are present, without doing any kind of safety or background checks, creates risk for our kids.

  • Nmil

    I understand that the teachers are only trying to keep their jobs but something had to be done since Mayor Tom Barrett is incompetent of cleaning up the city. There are too many failing parents in the school district who burden the schools with their ill-behaved and ill-prepared children. A failing school district coupled with foreclosed homes and unsafe neighborhoods have greatly contributed to the decline in property values. I’ve witnessed homes sit on the market for 10 years. Until these families go away, teachers and homeowners will always get the short end of the stick. My advice is to save all your money and move out of Milwaukee.

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